Although butternut squash is often just thought of as a winter and fall veggie, it can be enjoyed all year long and is available in most supermarkets even throughout the spring and summer months. Let's take a closer look at the health benefits of butternut squash for dogs, where it comes from, and how your dog may enjoy eating it the most.
Signs of a Dog Liking Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is an inexpensive, healthy, and easily accessible veggie that is great to include in your furry friend's diet. It is something we often prepare during the cold months by baking, roasting, and putting the squash into comforting soups. While you are cooking up some squash for your recipes, cook some extra to include in your dog's food bowl as well!
Butternut squash is mild and earthy in flavor while having a touch of sweetness as well. When cooked, it becomes soft, which makes it a perfect food item to give to your pooch. You can bake butternut squash into treats or give it to them mashed or cubed along with their kibble or raw food based diet. Your dog will likely love the flavor and texture of this squash, but some dogs will not be crazy about the texture. If your dog doesn't like the texture, it's the perfect addition to baked dog treats.
If you want to treat your dog to some delicious butternut squash, you can give it to your dog daily without any health risks or concerns. Unless your dog is allergic to this veggies, there are no adverse effects to dogs eating butternut squash.
Dogs generally will eat just about anything you give them, especially if you include the new food into their favorite treats, snacks, and foods. You know your dog best and will know they like butternut squash when they show their positive body language signs.
You can tell if your dog likes butternut squash by how they eat this food. If they go and eat it without any snarling or making faces like they don't enjoy this food, if they wag their tail, if they look alert, raise their ears, lick their lips. or even cry, howl, or back at your for more squash, you can confidently tell your dog loves butternut squash!
- Lip licking
- Wag tail
- Whale eye
- Pawing at Your Leg
- Staying Close to You and Staring
- Begging at You For More
History of Butternut Squash
Other varieties of squash date all the way back to about 350 million years ago. Around 13,000 BC is when people actually started using squash, although they were not consuming squash because it was tough, bitter, and many varieties were poisonous. Instead, they would hollow out the squash and uses it like a bowl or as a fish catcher. It was not until many years later, around 10,000 BC, people began to farm squash for consumption after breeding the squash to make it sweeter, smaller, and less tough.The history of butternut squash is strange, ominous, and not too much is know about this popular veg. It was first created and bred by Charles Leggett of Stow in Massachusetts during the 1940s, so it has not been around for a very long period of time.
Butternut squash was developed to make a good tasting and edible squash as pumpkins were not used for eating and other squash varieties during this time period were far too large for most people to buy from markets. Leggett cross bred gooseneck squash and hubbard squash to create butternut squash. The product, as we know butternut squash today, was named this because it was smooth as butter and sweet as a nut.
Science Behind Dogs and Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is also very low in fat and relatively low in calories, making it a healthy addition to your pup's diet. It is also high in dietary fiber and folate. Fiber and folate help with heart function - it is one of the most heart-healthy foods you can possibly eat!
Butternut squash also contains a good amount of potassium, which helps keep your dog's bones healthy and strong, especially as they get older. It also has high amounts of vitamin B6, which is an essential vitamin for your dog's nervous system and helping to keep their immune system functioning at the highest level possible.
Furthermore, butternut squash also has a healthy helping of vitamin C. Vitamin C can help your dog fight off sicknesses if they become ill, can help keep a stressed and anxious dog calm, and it is also a powerhouse antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off free radicals which can damage your dog's cell structure and alter DNA codes.
Training Dogs to Eat Butternut Squash
To make the squash a bit easier to cut up, place the squash in the microwave for 5 minutes on high with a few fork pricks in the skin and flesh. Use oven mitts to remove the squash from the microwave and let it cool slightly. Cut the squash in half vertically and scoop the seeds and guts from the inside out and discard.
You can choose to remove the skin or not. The skin of the butternut squash actually contains most of the nutrients, so we recommend leaving the skin on. The skin will get tender and soft when you cook the squash. Cut the squash into small 1-2 inch cubes.
You can choose between two different cooking methods: roasting in the oven or boiling in water. If you choose to boil the squash, bring a large pot of water to a boil, put in the squash, and cook until fork tender - about 15-20 minutes. If you choose to roast the squash in the oven, preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, lightly coat in about one tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until fork tender.
Once you cook the squash, you can give the cubes to your dog plain as a treat, mix the squash into their kibble of raw food, or mash the squash to include in a homemade dog treat recipe! Whatever method you use to cook the squash and however you feed it to your dog, they are sure to love this superfood!
Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog Butternut Squash:
Don't feed the guts or seeds to your dog.
Make sure to cook the squash first.
Watch them to ensure they do not have any allergies to the squash.